Easy Update: Paint a Vintage Frame

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  February 24, 2012 — 4 Comments

This vintage floral print spoke to me from the shelves of a suburban Goodwill.

I loved the pretty pinks and greens, but felt like the frame just wasn’t doing it any favors. The lines were good, but the dark wood finish was sucking the life outta those flowers. Something had to be done. I had no idea what I would do with it and in fact could have easily convinced myself that I didn’t need it at all, but it was too pretty to pass up so it came home with me.

I hemmed and hawed about what to do with it for a day or two, then day before yesterday I noticed the vintage print with the yellow frame in my downstairs bath and was inspired!

I decided to spruce up the frame using some of the leftover paint I mixed up for my mustard yellow coffee table. It was about 7pm when this inspiration struck and I couldn’t bring myself to wait until the next day, so the painting progress pictures are taken in my kitchen at night (definitely the worst lighting in my house).

I disassembled the frame and gave all the wood and hardware three coats of mustard yellow. I could have left it after one coat (pictured below) for a more shabby, distressed look, but I really wanted a little more modern finish to contrast with the faded tones in the print so I kept going to get really nice and even coverage.

Here it is after three coats + half a day of drying time. I love it.

It’s living for now on the mantle in my front room, but I don’t think it’s going to stay there.

In fact, as much as I love this happy little print, I can’t think of anyplace in my house that would be the perfect home for it, so I decided to go ahead and list it in my shop. I like to let shop inventory pretty up my house while I still have it, though, so I probably will scope out a nice cat-proof location for it to live until it goes on to its forever home.

This is such an easy and quick way to update an outdated frame (available in droves at thrift stores everywhere). I especially like the idea of using a really modern color, like a punchy pink or turquoise, to contrast with a more classic shape or whatever’s inside the frame. It’s a good project for testing out your skills in mixing paint colors, too, since you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a pretty frame to experiment with. And of course you can always switch out the print that came with it for something more modern, or even a photograph (just put a sheet of white cardstock behind the image to mimic the look of a mat). The possibilities for experimentation are endless and the cost to get started extremely low, so if you’ve got a blank wall or shelf that could use a little pick-me-up consider heading out to your local thrift store to rescue a well-constructed frame from the shelves of despair.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


4 responses to Easy Update: Paint a Vintage Frame

  1. I like your finds. I have started my blog on thrifting and decor and have started posted some of my projects. Check it out: http://www.twicethecharm.wordpress.com

  2. Nice job! Love the mustard color!

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